Nutrition for promoting gains in lean mass in rugby athletes: Considerations for applied sports nutrition research and practice

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


Nutrition is important to promote adaptations to rugby training. Rugby athletes undertake regular training to enhance performance, endurance, strength, speed and power and promote desired changes in body composition. Through a series of studies this research focussed on the roles of energy and macronutrient intake to promote protein synthesis to optimise skeletal muscle mass (SMM). Assessments of rugby athletes' resting metabolic rate, body composition and nutritional intake were undertaken to characterise their energy requirements. Based on protein's critical contribution to promoting muscle protein synthesis, the role of manipulating protein distribution to enhance chronic gains in lean mass was explored. Finally, due to the high satiating efficiency of protein, the effect of protein dose on appetite and food intake was examined in rugby and resistance training athletes. Collectively the findings support that a range of dietary factors including total energy and macronutrient intake will impact on chronic changes in lean mass in rugby athletes. Despite a series of analytical and methodological challenges when performing applied sports nutrition research, field studies are critical to inform sports nutrition practice.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • King, Neil, Principal Supervisor, External person
  • Byrne, Nuala, Associate Supervisor
  • Slater, Gary R., Supervisor, External person
Award date20 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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